Crystal Cruises Sold to Asia’s Biggest Cruise Line Operator

Crystal Serenity file photo courtesy Crystal Cruises
Crystal Serenity file photo courtesy Crystal Cruises

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) announced Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its U.S.-based luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong (GHK), the leading cruise operator in Asia and a major shareholder of Norwegian Cruise Line.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, GHK will acquire Crystal Cruises for US$550 million in cash.

Crystal Cruises’ current fleet currently consists of two ships, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. With the GHK acquisition, Crystal Cruises will be expanding its fleet with the the purchase of a new ship, the details of which have not been determined.

NYK has been the parent company of Crystal Cruises since it was incorporated in 1988 in Los Angeles, California. The company was delivered its first ship, Crystal Harmony, in 1990 from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, Japan. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were later added to the fleet in 1995 and 2003, respectively.

“After 25 successful years with NYK, we are excited to have Genting Hong Kong as the new owner of Crystal Cruises,” said Edie Rodriguez, President and COO of Crystal Cruises. “The proposed expansion of our fleet will present our loyal Crystal Society members and new luxury cruise guests with more itinerary options, accommodation choices and exceptional vacation experiences, as we continue to position Crystal as the innovative leader in global luxury cruising. Additionally, Crystal’s veteran leadership, management and crew will continue to focus on our award-winning guest service and our strong partnership with the travel agent community – which now has a greater opportunity to grow their business with a larger menu of Crystal product offerings.”

GHK, part of the Genting Group, was established in 1993 as a global hospitality and leisure company with business in over 20 countries. GHK wholly owns Star Cruises, Asia’s leading cruise line, and is the largest shareholder of Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings, parent company to the Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands. Together with these brands, GHK is the third largest cruise operator in the world with a combined fleet of 28 ships cruising to over 450 destinations and offering approximately 47,400 lower berths. GHK is a public company primarily listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and secondarily on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

“Crystal Cruises offers the epitome of luxury cruising and the service standard which all other cruise lines aspire to,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman, CEO and Acting President of GHK. “The current management team and crew will continue to lead Crystal Cruises. Genting will provide financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design to build a new ship that will set the highest standard in luxury cruise ships. This new ship, together with Crystal’s legendary six-star service, will reinforce Crystal Cruises’ reputation as the world’s leading luxury cruise line for decades to come.”

About Crystal Serenity

Built in 2003 at a cost of $350 million at the Alstom Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France, the 68,870 gross ton Crystal Serenity has accomodation for 1,070 guests in 535 staterooms. The ship underwent major renovations in 2008, 2011 and 2008.

About Crystal Symphony

The Crystal Symphony was built in 1995 at Kvaerner Masa Yards (later formed part of STX Finland) in Turku, Finland for a cost of $250 million. The 51,044 gross ton ship can accommodate 922 guests in 461 staterooms. Crystal Symphony underwent major renovations in 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012.